We're twenty days into 2017 and I can't believe how much change has happened in my life. I've started a new relationship. I've had a young rabbit turn up, which I looked after for a couple of weeks before finding another home for him. My boarder has moved out after four years, so I have my house to myself again, and I've created a whole new "chill-out" space with the extra room.
My new cosy nook — a work in progress
This afternoon I presented to the Parliamentary Health Select Committee about my submission on Hon Maryan Street’s petition about voluntary euthanasia (or assisted dying). Imagine my delight when I saw, sitting in the sub-committee to which I was to present, Hon Simon O'Connor, the Committee's Chair, and Poto Williams, Labour's spokesperson on disability issues, whom I have met several times. Score!
I began by acknowledging the death this morning of Helen Kelly who, in her struggle with cancer, lobbied for legalisation of both medical cannabis use and assisted dying (AD). Helen, if you're reading this somewhere and you had anything to do with the sub-committee make-up, many, many thanks.
What does being a leader as host/disrupter/navigator mean?
We call our politicians — whether local, regional or national — leaders, but are they really?
Given they are reliant on public support and popularity to be voted in, politicians can't really show true leadership, particularly leading up to elections. They have to listen to the public and represent the majority view if they want a chance in office.
Happy New Year. I hope your celebrations were safe and fun.
I've started 2016 by creating a brand, spanking new website for Diversity New Zealand — you can see it here! (I know, I'm a geek!)
This time of year is difficult for me. To say I dread it is an over-statement, but I do steel myself for it and it's an exercise in endurance getting through it.
I struggle with being alone. I'm not lonely though, don't get me wrong. And I don't want to surround myself with people.
The following is what I shared on Saturday night, added to by my co-director Lesley Slade, with the 2015 graduates of the Be. Leadership programme:
Leadership is a tough gig. Leadership development is even tougher.
It requires the acumen of leadership while sitting with discomfort, confusion and a reconstruction of self. It also requires staying in a process while wanting to run away; and leaving behind attitudes and behaviours you may hold dear.
As welfare states come crashing down around the (western) world, the demand for employment and requirement to be employed increase. New Zealand's welfare lexicon has changed from "beneficiary" to the default "jobseeker".
Meanwhile industry and technology improves, meaning more machines, computers and robots do more and more jobs for us. I mean, that has been the whole idea of industrial and technological revolutions, hasn't it? To decrease the need for humans to do stuff.
View slides on SlideShare »
The question of diversity and inclusion in schools is by no means a new one. Some do it well, some refuse and most, I would say, are just not sure where to start.
Preparing a keynote for Auckland Careers and Transition Educators –whose "main focus is on the career education of youth and their transition into the wider world of employment, training and/or further education", I began by reflecting on the question, "Can we get straight from diversity to inclusion?" It occurred to me that, no, we can't.
The Ministry of Education's new curriculum guidelines released last week, aimed at improving sex education and diversity for students, seem almost too good to be true. Actually they are, because they are not mandatory.
Recommendations for non-gendered uniforms, same-sex partners at school balls, reviewing toilet spaces and making sport less gender-specific are no-brainers in our day and age — actually they've been no-brainers for decades.
These guidelines show surprisingly courageous change leadership from the Ministry. But there's always some right-wing plonker, who purports to represent the moral majority, ready to go into bat for the status quo (as I posted about recently).